Daniel Montano delivered when it really mattered for the Spokane Indians.
His two-run single in the eighth inning tied the game and his sacrifice fly in the ninth lifted the Spokane Indians over the visiting Vancouver Canadians 11-10 the third of a six-game High-A West series at Avista Stadium on Thursday.
With one down in the bottom of the ninth, Jack Blomgren walked, then went to second on an errant pick-off attempt. Collins lined a single to left, but Blomgren didn’t get a good read on the hit and managed to just moved up to third.
But Montano’s fly to medium left was enough to get Blomgren home for the win.
The Indians (35-40) found themselves down 9-5 in the latter innings, but they scored three in the sixth, then Montano (3 for 5) completed the comeback with a two-run double in eighth.
“It’s pretty nice (to contribute),” Montano said. “It was a crazy game tonight. We had 10, 11 runs. I tried to put the ball the ball in play and help my team to win. We have a lot of games left, if we want playoffs this year.”
“We got a bunch of really good at bats from everyone, top of the order down to the bottom,” Collins said. “To be able to tie up and end up winning that game, that was really big and those are the type of wins that kind of turn seasons around for sure.”
Earlier in the game, Montano struck out with a runner at third with less than two outs. Indians manager Scott Little said it was a learning experience for his outfielder.
“He could have been pouting,” Little said of Montano. “When he came up next time, bam, two-RBI base hit. Game on the line and the bottom of the ninth, man on third to win the game, he hits a sac fly to win it. So I tip my hat to the kid.”
“I don’t think too much,” Montano said. “You know, baseball is a hard game, but every day you have to take an opportunity to do your job, you know, just try to put the ball in play no matter if you fail or you hit.”
Collins finished 5 for 6 with three RBIs.
“I was seeing it pretty good,” Collins said. “Pretty good, not gonna lie.”
Collins said he hasn’t has a game with five hits since high school.
“I’m just sticking to my approach really,” he said. “Keeping the effort low, trust them eyes, stay on the fastball and you’ll see breaking balls up and just really trusting myself, keeping it simple.”
“Isaac had a great game,” Little said. “Great game, He just keeps coming up and hitting rockets all night.”
For the second game in a row, the Indians came out slugging and took an early lead. With one down in the first inning, Montano and Colton Welker hit back-to-back singles, which brought up league home run leader Michael Toglia.
Toglia crushed an 0-2 mistake to straight center for his 15th homer of the season.
Spokane added a run in the second. Stovall (3 for 5) led off with a double, but was wiped out at third on a fielder’s choice. AJ Lewis was left at first, and went to second on a balk. Lewis went to third on a groundout and scored on a single by Collins.
But for the second game in a row, the lead did not last.
In the top of the third, consecutive doubles by Rafael Lantigua and Tanner Morris off Indians starter Trent Fennell plated three runs.
The C’s loaded the bases and Spencer Horwitz delivered an RBI single to tie it – briefly.
Philip Clarke singled home another run and after Fennell coaxed a groundout, Little came out with the hook.
Fennell gave up seven runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings.
Jared Biddy took over, but the results stayed the same.
Davis Schneider greeted the reliever with a single to right to score two more runs and make it 7-4.
Vancouver added single runs in the fifth and sixth to make it 9-5.
Spokane rallied for three in the sixth, with the big blow coming on a two-run double by Collins.
Vancouver made it a two-run game in the eighth on an RBI single by Robertson.
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